The Great Debate: Seeds vs. Clones

by | Jun 16, 2022 | Cannabis Cultivation

The Great Debate: Seeds vs. Clones

At the end of this blog, we have a special offer for first-time Rootseller buyers. But first, we’d like to explore some of the decision points we face when considering clones and different types of seed.

Making Choices that Reduce Risks

As cannabis growers, we all want to keep our production process as simple as possible. We want to minimize the cost of inputs and labor while maximizing the market value of our finished product. And, speaking frankly, we like options that help us reduce the stress and uncertainty that seems to go hand-in-hand with all things agricultural. The more ambiguity we can remove, the better, right? Certainly, there are a lot of variables we can’t control such as drought, the cost of fertilizer, or the onset of crop diseases.  In those cases, we do our best to react with the appropriate measures to keep our grows healthy and thriving. However, there are many variables that ARE in our control and instances where we can proactively make choices that will reduce our risks and increase our chances for success. 

One of the leading decisions we all make as a we plan is whether to start our grow from clones or seeds. These two alternatives are at the core of risk reduction. If one of your goals is to avoid the common pitfalls that can imperil your grow, top-quality feminized seeds are hands down the way you want to go. Let’s break that down and look at some of the key reasons these are your best bet. 

At maturity, we all want to look out over our grow and see strong, vigorous plants with max amounts of THC and covered in beautiful sticky buds. So what’s the surest way to achieve this bounty? Start by considering some basic differences between seeds, clones, and their impacts on how you will cultivate them. 

Clones – a brief overview

Clones are seedlings derived from a “mother plant.” The quality of a clone depends 100 percent on the quality of the mother and clones assure genetic consistency across all cloned plants. So, on the positive side, all clones will carry forward the desirable traits of the mother. On the downside, if the mother is prone to disease or plagued with pests, all the clones will be as well. There is a “luck of the draw” aspect to this that must be accepted with clones. 

Much of the attraction of clones, of course, is that they are a quick-start option: you take the cutting and root it. No waiting six weeks or so for germination. However, you are going to pay for that convenience as clones come with a hefty price tag. That would be fine if you could count on clones to mature without a lot of drama, but unfortunately, that is not the usually case. Clones by their very nature are weaker than seed-grown plants; they are not as hardy, tend to have more shallow root systems, and don’t tolerate changes in water well. What’s more, genetic depletion often dictates that they yield less than seed-based plants. Additionally, if one of your clones is struck with a fungus or a pest, there is a high probability that all your clones will succumb to the same threat. In short, clones introduce a certain level of jeopardy and upfront cost you can probably do without. 


Advantages of Starting Your Grow from Seeds


While we are firm believers in the superiority of seed-based grows, we are just as firm in our conviction that not all cannabis seeds are created equal. Rootseller prides itself on the quality of our seed bank – a portfolio of cannabis we have been developing for nearly 30 years right here in Colorado, a renowned leader in cannabis cultivation. 


Before we explore the advantages of different kinds of seeds, let’s begin with some fundamentals about the benefits of starting your own seeds. Cannabis seeds are inexpensive relative to clones, which means your start-up cost is lower, keeping in mind that you will need to invest in a germination infrastructure. However, the rewards of germinating your own cannabis can be seen almost immediately. Seed-grown seedlings will have strong stems and branches. Because seed-grown plants are genetically variable, the entire grow is more resilient; in other words, just because one plant is struck by a threat, it will not endanger every other plant you have. Even within the same strain, there will be enough diversity to assure that most plants continue to thrive. Seed-grown seedlings are more vigorous than clones overall and will be less sensitive to variations in inputs like nutrients and water. 


One last benefit of seeds: stored properly, you can inventory seeds for years. If you want to stagger your grow or buy bulk to take advantage of a limited special pricing opportunity, you can do so knowing  that you can plant some now and save the rest for later. There is not the usual sense of urgency you get when you order a batch of clones that must be processed … right now.


Benefits and Risk Reduction with Feminized Seeds


Beyond the general advantages of seeds, there are also advantages to be had by buying the right strains. There are two main categories of cannabis seed: feminized and non-feminized. Rootseller only offers feminized hybrids produced under the most exacting standards, using best practices we’ve been advancing since 1996. Allow us to explain why.  


We began this blog talking about risk reduction.  Feminized seeds will relieve you from some inherent gambles in cannabis growing and produce plants strong enough to withstand a bit of inexperience and gaps in diligence. If sprouting seeds concerns you, rest assured all our indoor-grown seeds are so carefully cultivated that they come with a germination guarantee. While less-expensive non-feminized seed can tempt you with low prices, these strains will produce about 50 percent males and that means you are wasting a good portion of your inputs on non-viable plants. And, of course, there is the additional time and energy you invest in sexing your plants and pulling out all the males before they pollinate. To be fair, we urge all growers to sex their plants as even the highest-quality feminized seed can produce an occasional male or hermaphrodite. If an abundant harvest is your goal, feminized hybrids will deliver full, vigorous rows versus a mature grow that is only half the size you started with. Bottomline: your feminized seed-grown seedlings are far more likely than clones or non-feminized seeds to mature, to be female, and to produce phenomenal yields.


20 Percent Off  for First-Time Buyers


On a final note, superior Rootseller seeds not only deliver these advantages, we have a diverse offering of more than 100 strains. We are always happy to talk to growers and offer our experience and advice about what is likely to work best for your operation. Want more? How about this: for a limited time, we are offering first-time Rootseller customers 20 percent off your initial purchase. Don’t delay – this offer ends June 30, 2022 and our most popular hybrids could sell out! Call us today at 719.217.0207 to place your order or shop us online.  Use code 1stBuy to get your discount!

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